Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Plant City, Florida

The Cemetery is a Praying Place: Praying without ceasing seems like an impossible commandment for Christians, but multiplication makes it possible.  Not the multiplication of loaves and fishes for which Jesus is famous, but  the multiplication of hands constantly in prayer. Praying hands, small (as here) or large, are among the most frequent icons of faith on cemetery landscapes. Memorial Park Cemetery. [2014]

Monday, April 28, 2014

Laramie, Wyoming

The Cemetery is a Praying Place: Whenever we stroll through a Christian burial ground, we are reminded of the advice we get in I Thessalonians: "Pray without ceasing." Praying hands, large (as here) or small, are among the most frequent icons of faith on grave markers. They are the hands of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemene; they are the hands of the deceased delivering a final plea for mercy; they are the hands of loved ones left behind in an eternal prayerful pose. Green Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Our Loving Parents

Friday, April 25, 2014

Frederica, Delaware

Solid Geometry in the Cemetery ~ The Cube:  It opens tomorrow: "the world's first museum exhibition about Rubik's Cube." Where? Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. Title of the exhibit: "Beyond Rubik's Cube." Untitled tombstone: "Rubik's Cube from beyond the grave." Barrats Chappel Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Barre, Vermont

Solid Geometry in the Cemetery ~ The Cube:  A cube is a regular hexahedron. How could you use it to commemorate your regular life? A cube is one of only five regular polyhedrons, which makes it rather extraordinary. How could you use it to commemorate your extraordinary life? What would you put on each of its six faces? Words? Images? Hope Cemetery. [1983]

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chesapeake City, Maryland

Solid Geometry in the Cemetery ~ The Cube:  Building blocks, most often with letters-to-be-learned on each side, are in every child's toy box. Unfortunately, not every child gets a chance to build a life on earth. One toy, it seems, has followed its young master to his last resting place and has positioned itself forever to point towards heaven. St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tampa, Florida

Getting Ready for Good Friday: By the time the sun rose on the first Good Friday, the Passover meal of the night before was already a memory, and events in Jerusalem were taking a decidedly dark turn. Jesus' last supper has become an iconic part of the Easter story. It has been memorialized in many Christian cemeteries, especially where Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians are interred.  The cemetery here was founded in 1942 for immigrants to Tampa from Cuba and Spain. Centro Asturiano Cemetery. [2014]

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tolstoi, Manitoba

Getting Ready for Good Friday:  Asked to summarize Christianity in a single word, most would say LOVE. According to Orthodoxy Today, that's the message of the iconic event that inspired da Vinci: "The Last Supper is the ultimate revelation of God's redeeming love for man, of love as the very essence of salvation. And the betrayal by Judas reveals that sin, death and self-destruction are also due to love, but to deviated and distorted love, love directed at that which does not deserve love." Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church Cemetery. [2012]

Monday, April 14, 2014

Laramie, Wyoming

Getting Ready for Good Friday:  The night before Jesus was crucified, the disciples gathered for the Passover meal.  Said Jesus to his closest companions: "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me." Surprise and nervous chatter followed. That was the moment captured by Leonardo da Vinci in his famous fresco. Which one of the disciples betrayed Jesus?  Can you find him in the line-up on this headstone? Green Hill Cemetery. [2013]

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1:  In 2010, a new national treasurer was added to the cemetery landscape of New Orleans oldest extant cemetery.  It's a pyramid tomb, and it awaits the remains of Nicholas Cage. Money must talk when it comes to the Diocese of New Orleans, because room was found for a large new mausoleum even though almost every square inch of space in St. Louis Cemetery is already occupied. [2014]

Omnia Ab Uno
"One from Everything"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: Everybody who comes here wants to see the tomb of Marie Leveau, New Orleans' most famous voodoo priestess. After the revolution in Haiti, which ended in 1804, many Haitian refugees arrived in Louisiana and revived the practice of voodoo. Marie, herself, was a practicing Catholic, having been married in the St. Louis Cathedral.  When she lost her husband, she took up with a man who became the father of her 15 children.  It is in his family tomb, the Glapion tomb, where her remains are interred (probably). [2014]

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Orleans, Louisiana

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1:  When founded in 1789, it was on the edge of town. Now, it's just a few blocks north of the French Quarter. What you see in the background, though, is the downtown skyline of New Orleans. Why are bodies in vaults above ground?  (1) French and Spanish tradition, and (2) high water tables. Burials still take place here, but mostly in family vaults. [2014]

Friday, April 4, 2014

Federalsburg, Maryland

From Adam's Rib:  The wife is buried to the husband's left.  It's a practice that may be explained by Biblical traditions but not really Biblical passages.  The book of Genesis affirms that 'woman' was created from Adam's rib, but a rib from which side?  In some traditions, seemingly very entrenched in the American South, it was a rib from Adam's left side. Hill Crest Cemetery. [2013]

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jedburg, South Carolina

From Adam's Rib:  Do the math: They were high school sweethearts. When married, he was 17 and she had just turned 16. Young, yes, but, the union lasted almost 42 years. Until death did they part. When the day comes, her remains will be interred to the left of her husband. Jedburg Baptist Church Cemetery. [2012]